September 1 - October 1
Sliding Scale -- $150 - 200
The world is alive and speaking to us. All we have to do is remember how to listen.
We are all born knowing this simple truth, and begin our lives in a world rich with meaning. But in our culture, the voices around us are quickly drowned out by electronic noise, and we are taught to ignore the bits of song we still hear on the wind or risk insanity. Eventually we reach a point where we no longer trust our own senses.
But for some of us the vibrant memory of the world we knew as children is stronger than the fear of madness.
The wildness of our souls can be recovered, just as a forest can grown from an abandoned field.
In this six week online workshop, we will engage in an intense process of connecting with the living Earth and awakening the wildness within themselves.
Through reading, writing, meditation, and direct experience of the natural world, we will explore:
-- Our personal, familial, and cultural histories of relating to the land we live on and the beings that inhabit it
-- Engaging nature through engaging our senses
-- The use of the heart as an organ of perception (drawing from the work of Stephen Buhner)
-- Developing and deepening relationships with the plants that grow around us
Participants will share their experiences with each other and build community through an e-mail discussion list.
This promises to be a powerfully transformational, and at times emotionally intense journey. My goal as a teacher is to provide a safe and supportive space for that work. But I am not in a position to serve as therapist or counselor for students. Please bear this in mind as you consider undertaking this work.
Payment for this class is on a sliding scale from $150 - 200. The price reflects the work that I put into preparing and teaching this course. The higher end of the sliding scale is intended for people who can regularly afford things like eating out, going to concerts, and attending workshops and retreats. For those who are deeply committed to this work but are not able to afford even the low end of the sliding scale I am willing to discuss payment plans and partial or full barter arrangements. If enough people pay at the higher end of the sliding scale, I may be able to offer a few partial scholarships to students who would not otherwise be able to take this course.
If you are interested in enrolling, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sean Donahue is an herbalist, poet, activist, and witch committed to healing and transformation through connection with the living Earth.
As an herbalist, Sean works primarily with the wild plants of the forests and fields of New England. He views the plants as teachers, helping the body, mind, and spirit learn to correct imbalances that stand in the way of health.
As a teacher, poet, and ritualist, Sean works to connect people with their own wild nature and with the life of the world around them.
As an activist and journalist he has documented the human and environmental impacts of U.S. policies in Latin America, organized against nuclear power and nuclear weapons, trained hundreds of activists in techniques of nonviolent resistance, helped military families tell the stories of how the war in Iraq impacted their lives, and advocated for the rights of medical marijuana patients.
He believes that personal, community, and cultural healing are all deeply intertwined with the healing of our planet.
TRADITIONS OF THE NEW ENGLAND ROOT DOCTORS
with Sean Donahue
Online, October 1 - December 1
In the eighteen and nineteenth centuries, rural New England root doctors blended some of the energetic understandings of British folk medicine with what they learned from Native peoples about the plants around them and developed a system of medicine based on working with and supporting the actions' of the body's vital force. Samuel Thomson of New Hampshire condensed this system into a series of easy to understand principles and practices, and launched a movement that sought to empower people to take their health care back from the physicians of the day whose methods relied heavily on bloodletting and the use of toxic compounds like Mercury.
Building on this foundation, a later generation would develop the science of Physiomedicalism which informs many strains of contemporary herbalism. This course will explore the philosophy, energetic systems, and therapeutics of the New England root doctors and the Physiomedicalists, and look at how we can apply their insights today.